Australia Markets closed

Kim Jong Un has his hand near the 'trigger' on a possible launch at US territory of Guam

Alex Lockie
Kim Jong Un has his hand near the 'trigger' on a possible launch at US territory of Guam

After US B-1B jets buzzed North Korea and practiced a bombing run, Pyongyang responded by saying Kim Jong Un may finally decide to launch missiles towards Guam.

North Korea originally threatened to fire Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles into the waters just short of Guam, the US territory with massive air and naval bases, in August.

At the time, North Korea specifically mentioned the bombers "which get on the nerves of DPRK and threaten and blackmail it through their frequent visits to the sky above Korea."

The carefully-worded threats did not promise a launch, only that it would prepare plans and present them to Kim, who has declined to go through with it so far.

But after the most recent flight, which was relatively routine, North Korean media said the "US should be tamed with fire," and that tensions now bring its "hand closer to the 'trigger'" on carrying out the launch, according to CNN's Will Ripley.

The US operates a powerful missile defence system in Guam, and the US Navy has ships that can defend against missiles, but it's unclear whether it would risk shooting down missiles bound for the ocean.